President Trump announced on Monday afternoon that he is taking deliberate action to shut down the “acts of domestic terror” from “professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa, and others” that have launched assaults on cities across the nation.
The president, speaking from the Rose Garden said “I am taking immediate presidential action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America. I am mobilizing all available federal resources civilian and military to stop the rioting and looting to end the destruction and arson and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans.”
“First we are ending the riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country. We will end it now,” Trump insisted.
“Today I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets. Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled. If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will quickly deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”
Earlier on Monday, the president unloaded on governors in a phone call, calling them out for being “weak” in their response to the riots. “Most of you are weak,” Trump said. “You have to arrest people.
“You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again,” said Trump. “We’re doing it in Washington, D.C. We’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before.”
“We are putting everybody on warning: Our seven o’clock curfew will be strictly enforced. Those who threaten innocent life and property will be arrested, detained, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Trump continued.
“I want the organizers of this terror to be on notice that you will face severe criminal penalties and lengthy sentences in jail. This includes Antifa and others who are leading instigators of this violence.”
“We have one beautiful law. And once that is restored and fully restored, we will help you, we will help your business, and we will help your family,” Trump continued. “America is founded upon the rule of law. It is the foundation of our prosperity, our freedom, and our very way of life. But where there is no law, there is no opportunity. Where there is no justice, there is no liberty. Where there is no safety, there is no future.”
Trump called what the violent rioters did last night in Washington, D.C., was a “total disgrace,” and said that he was deploying “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults, and the wanton destruction of property.”
“We must never give in to anger or hatred. If malice or violence reigns, then none of us is free,” Trump concluded. “I take these actions today with firm resolve and with a true and passionate love for our country. By far, our greatest days lie ahead.”
“I will fight to protect you,” Trump said in an evening protest, ahead of what’s expected to be more protests in the city of Washington on Monday night over the death in Minnesota of George Floyd.
“We cannot allow the righteous cries of peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob,” the president added. “The biggest victims of this rioting are peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities.”
Immediately following the speech, in an extraordinary scene, the president and his entourage walked outside of the White House, across Lafayette Square, to St. Johns Episcopal Church, which caught on fire during the protesters the night before.
During the brief visit, the president stood in front of the boarded-up church and held up a Bible. He was accompanied by a variety of aides and officials, including Attorney General Bill Barr, daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Defense Secretary Mark Esper.